The Calgary River Access Strategy will be presented to the City of Calgary’s Community & Protective Services Committee(CPS) on February 1, 2017 for discussion, public input and hopefully approval before being presented to City Council for approval in March. From a list of 25 sites given consideration for development, the list is now down to 12 potential boat ramps. Of which Stoney Trail, 12 Street SE (new), Refinery Park (new), Graves Bridge and Fish Creek are considered high priority for the fishing community.
After considerable debate 17 Ave SE / Cushing Bridge has been taken off the table as a public access point. Ogden Road was considered as a realistic alternative, but the Bonnybrook Permanent Flood Barrier eliminated this site. A new boat ramp site at the top end of the Old Refinery Park has been identified as the most appropriate location to meet recreation fishing boat access to replace the 17 Ave SE boat ramp. The rationale for this boat ramp site selection can be seen in the following Report
What is important at this stage in the River Access Strategy approval process is for all river user groups, businesses and individuals to support the proposals with appropriate comments that will assist approval by City Council.
Needless to say the fishing community needs to get behind this project.
BRT Presentation to Community& Protective Service Committee in February details the needs for recreational fishing boat access . If you feel a change in direction is needed please contact me ASAP. We would be pleased to add your support to the document, but if you wish to submit input yourself, please forward an email to the Project Manager for the River Access Strategy at Calgary Parks.
If you wish to speak to the CPS committee, please contact me and I will fill you in on the details.
ADD YOUR COMMENTS & SUPPORT
CRUA PROPOSAL TO THE CALGARY RIVER ACCESS STRATEGY FOR IMPROVED BOAT AND HAND LAUNCH SITES
As part of the Calgary River Access Strategy passed by Calgary City Council in June 2016, Calgary River Users’ Alliance as a stakeholder in recreational river use has been consulted by Calgary Parks about the most appropriate access locations on the Bow and Elbow Rivers that should be considered for development.
CRUA identified in excess of 50 locations that are currently used by a variety of river users. A short list of 16 sites have been identified that offer the potential for development to meet recreational activities within the city.
Two categories of designated launch sites have been identified. Boat Ramps – that will serve all river users and Hand Launch Sites – that will serve kayak, canoe and tubes that can be carried to the river. The proposal requests that both categories of launch be serviced by toilets, garbage bins, benches and educational and safety signage.
The following site selection criteria was used for both Hand Launch and Boat Ramps:
♦Accessible from existing public roads. ♦Strategically located along the rivers to facilitate access and to offer a variety of boating trips. ♦Existing vehicle parking with room for expansion. ♦Room for improvement and/or addition of supporting amenities. ♦Accommodates as wide a variety of river users as possible. ♦Minimizes new disturbance to parkland by using established sites. ♦Avoids sensitive environmental areas and does not contribute to erosion or sediment input to river. ♦Does not interfere with use by emergency services.♦Avoids private property.
The 16 sites are: Bow River – Stoney Trail / Bearspaw ♦ Bowness Park ♦ Shouldice Park ♦ Point McKay ♦ Eau Claire ♦ Sunnyside ♦ Inglewood – 12 St. SE ♦ St. Patrick’s Island ♦ Cushing Bridge ♦ Ogden Road ♦ Graves Bridge ♦ Quarry Park ♦ Douglasdale
Elbow River – Sandy Beach♦ Stanley Park ♦ Inglewood – 8 St. SE at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers
Further details for the site selection can be found at the following link: Access Sites
City Administration will take the river access proposal to City Council in March of 2017. CRUA expects to see a roll out of infrastructure improvements over a 3-year development plan. In the meantime, we see that with very little cost, public trailered boat access should be reinstated at Stoney Trail and Shouldice Park above Harvie Passage and Cushing Bridge below. This would expand the drift boat fishing opportunities within Calgary.
Bow River Trout will be pleased to supply your comments on launch site selection to CRUA. It will assist with decisions as to which launch sites we should ask the City to consider for development and in what order of importance.
Parks Department is asking for general public engagement into the River Access Strategy. Visit their Website
The redevelopment of Harvie Passage is under way.
What will the new development look like. Most important is a completely new low flow channel that is safer for all river users. The right bank of the Bow River will also receive and update as a part of the Bend-in-the-Bow project.
Work will continue into the Fall of 2016 and recommence in the Spring of 2017. A grand opening of the facility will take place in the Fall of 2018.
Details of the development follow: